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Charmed Life hopes to live it up in Muscle Hill

October 31, 2014
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Coming off a race described by trainer Dave Menary as "vicious,” Charmed Life might finally be sitting pretty as she gets ready for Saturday's $178,000 Muscle Hill Stakes for older female trotters at Vernon Downs.
 
Charmed Life drew outside starting spots in four of her previous five races, but will begin the Muscle Hill from post four with driver Jody Jamieson, who on Thursday night got career win No. 7,000.
 
The 10-horse field features the four richest trotting mares this season: Classic Martine, Bee A Magician, Charmed Life, and Perfect Alliance. The Ron Burke-trained entry of Maven and Handover Belle was installed as the 2-1 morning line favorite, followed by Bee A Magician at 3-1 and the three-part Jonas Czernyson entry of Ma Chere Hall, Mistery Woman, and D'Orsay at 9-2. Charmed Life is 8-1.
 
"I think any race (worth) over $100,000, I haven't drawn very well with anyone this year,” Menary said. "You need a little bit of luck. This worked out good for her; the four hole should be a good spot. They're all tough, but a lot of the better mares are on the outside.”

Charmed Life, a 4-year-old daughter of Majestic Son-Christina M, has won six of 19 races this season and $186,953. She is owned by Menary Racing, Brad Gray and Michael Guerriero. The group purchased the mare in March, prior to the start of this year's campaign.

"She could have had a better year with a little bit of luck, but she's a model of consistency,” Menary said. "We've had a lot of fun with her and hopefully it's not over yet.”

Among Charmed Life's wins was a 1:52.2 victory in a preliminary round of the Miss Versatility Series at Tioga Downs. The time was the fastest trotting mile in track history.

She started the $121,500 Miss Versatility Series final from post seven at the Delaware County Fair in Ohio and finished second by a neck to Classic Martine. Earlier in the season, she drew post eight for the $244,720 Armbro Flight Stakes and finished fourth.

Charmed Life has hit the board in 13 of her 19 starts, and 10 of 12 since adding Lasix in July.

"She's been good her whole life, and as long as we've had her, but since I put her on Lasix she's had a little bit extra kick coming home,” Menary said about Charmed Life, who has won 13 of 53 career races and $629,613. "If she's in the right spot, like at Tioga, she can go with these mares.”

Last week, Charmed Life started from post seven in the preferred at Woodbine and rallied from ninth place at the half – a dozen lengths behind the leader – to win by two in 1:54. She trotted the second half of the race in :55.

"She was vicious,” Menary said. "She came from an impossible spot. She looked like she was probably a little too far back; not a lot of horses could have gotten up from there. But she really exploded. It was a good last quarter, but she really came a wicked last eighth.

"I've been experimenting with her bridle the last couple starts. The week before she was kind of caught in, but still closed up good (to finish third by a nose in the preferred). It was maybe a little bit disappointing two weeks ago, but I changed her bridle again and she was vicious last week.”

Following the Muscle Hill, Charmed Life will be pointed toward the Breeders Crown at the Meadowlands. She will continue racing in 2015.

"One hundred percent,” Menary said. "I've contemplated racing her at home a little bit this winter. We'll just take things weeks by week.” (HRC)

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